من الواجب على إسرائيل
تدمير ترسانة إيران النووية
: زيف شافيتس
أنجلوس تايمز -
Israel should bust Iran's bunkers
The alternative could be a nuclear Iran that destabilizes the Middle East
and sets off a well-armed Israel.
By Zev Chafets, ZEV CHAFETS is the author of "A Match Made in Heaven:
American Jews, Christian Zionists and One Man's
Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical
Alliance," published this week by HarperC
January 10, 2007
LAST WEEKEND, the Sunday Times of London reported that Israel is preparing a
strike on the Iranian nuclear program at several bases
scattered throughout the country. The paper claimed that
the attack would be carried out with tactical nuclear
"bunker busters" supplied by the United States.
Israel quickly denied the Times' report. But the story, which may be wrong
in its details, has a certain truthiness. Israel is
certainly thinking about how to stop Tehran from getting
its hands on nukes.
And why wouldn't it? Given the evident failure of American diplomacy and
U.N. sanctions, Israel has two basic choices. It can sit
and wait, hoping the Iranians do not drop a bomb on Tel
Aviv; or it can preemptively attack, hoping to destroy,
or at least retard, the Iranians' nuclear capacity.
American foreign policy "realists" tend to favor the first option.
At the core of their argument is the idea that Israel
has nuclear weapons and can therefore rely on Mutually
Assured Destruction (MAD) just as the U.S. did during
the Cold War. Does Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
say he wants to wipe Israel off the map? It's probably
just rhetoric. After all, he knows that if he tried,
Israel would retaliate, turning Tehran into a parking
This may seem realistic in Washington or Cambridge, but not in Tel Aviv.
Israel is a small, crowded country with a very poor
civil defense infrastructure and a population
traumatized by its own recent history. Perhaps the
Iranian government doubts that the Holocaust happened,
but there are 6 million Israeli Jews (that population
figure is a macabre coincidence) who don't doubt it. For
Israelis, "never again" is more than a phrase
over a museum gate.
It is possible, even likely, that Israel could survive an Iranian nuclear
attack physically — but not psychologically. It is
doubtful that Israel could carry on as a sane, not to
mention democratic, society. This is the great insight
An Israel assaulted in this way would react, of course. But it might not
react in the predictable, proportionate, tit-for-tat
fashion that the realists have laid out. What, after
all, is the practical value (not to mention the moral
justification) for killing a million innocent civilians
There are other ways a brutalized Israel might respond. For example, it
could decide to settle accounts with a broader group of
enemies. That would mean immiserating Iran and the Arab
world by destroying their oil fields. Or, if the
Palestinians cheered the mass murder of Israelis in Tel
Aviv, as they almost certainly would, the Israeli
reaction might be to settle the territorial issue of
western Palestine once and for all. And if Hezbollah or
Syria attempted to intervene, well, the genie would
already be out of the bottle.
In other words, if you want to think realistically about the Middle East in
a first-strike environment, you had better be ready to
contemplate something more dire than a few flattened
neighborhoods in downtown Tehran.
The only reasonable alternative to this nightmare is a guarantee that there
will be no nuclear attack by Iran. This can be
accomplished by changing the regime in Tehran, or by
destroying the present government's capacity to build
and deliver nukes.
There are Israelis who believe that it is in Israel's interest for the
United States to solve this problem. But they are
mistaken. The truth is, the U.S. is not directly menaced
by Iranian weapons. When President Bush says an Iranian
bomb would threaten U.S. friends and interests in the
region, he is speaking primarily about Israel. The
Iranians frighten a lot of Sunni Arab countries, but
they pose an existential threat only to the Jewish state.
Israel needs to fight its own battles. If it encourages, or allows, the U.S.
to disarm Iran on its behalf, it can kiss its
sovereignty goodbye. Israel will become an American
protectorate, a Mediterranean Puerto Rico. The United
States is a great friend, but history's lesson is that
friends come and go.
Israel's raison d'être is Jewish self-determination — and that includes
the ability to survive without relying on the kindness
That kindness, in any case, can't be taken for granted. Just last week,
retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the former supreme allied
commander of NATO and a member in good standing of the
Democratic establishment, confided to Arianna
Huffington, on the record, that he fears that "New
York money people" (by which he clearly meant
American Jews) are already pressuring U.S. officials to
go to war for Israel's sake.
This, of course, is a variation on the increasingly brazen charge that
disloyal neocon Jews tricked the U.S. into Iraq on
orders from Jerusalem — a theory propounded not only
by Arab propagandists and academic
Zionist-lobby-spotters such as professor Stephen Walt of
Harvard, professor John Mearsheimer of the University of
Chicago and David Duke of the Ukrainian Interregional
Academy of Personnel Management, but by many
"progressive" Democrats and Buchananite
If the Sunday Times is right and Israel is preparing a strike on the Iranian
nuclear program, that may not be good news, but,
realistically, it is a damn sight better than the
من حق الزائر الكريم أن ينقل وأن ينشر كل ما يعجبه من موقعنا . معزواً إلينا ، أو غير معزو .ـ